"now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened"
- E.E Cummings
from my journal, selected excerpts for you all
Estoy mirando a Roraima despues de around cuatro horas de caminando. Estamos en la primera lugar/ campsite. Hay una larga salto flowing down Kokano (tepui next to Roraima) y tambien hay otras. Me encanta las cascadias. Hemos lavado en el rio y fue frio, como Colorado. Ahora es como Colorado weather pero hay una brisa. I am looking at Roraima after around four hours of walking. We are at the first place/ campsite. There is a long waterfall flowing down Kokano (next to Roraima tepui) and others. I love the waterfalls! We bathed in the river and it was as cold as summer's alpine lakes in Colorado. Now it feels like Colorado weather but there is a breeze. I´m a little cold but at least I have a saco de dormir (sleeping bag). I have been trying to speak in Spanish as much as possible but it is still difficult to understand what people say.
Walking is good for my soul and I feel centered and in the moment. I can feel the breeze, the goosebumps on my arms, leaves rustling the murmur of those around me speaking. It smells like Indian spices and they are dancing on my tastebuds. This morning did yoga and tried to teach Gregori, but he is too old. There were moments of, after focusing on my feet and the cracked red or neutral path, looking up to see the clouds cluster and move away as my vision adjusted to the larger goal or destination.
brisa/ viento- breeze/ windy
estrella fugaz- shooting star
Have two bites from puri-puri, two from mosquito like thing, and mosquito bites. Puri-puri has a nickname... the plague. The bites are tiny black dots surrounded by a red circle. They hurt like hell and then itch even worse. Even now I have some bites that itch like nothing else I've experienced. I am in the tent now and can hear mosquitoes buzzing outside. (I remember shining my headlamp at the fabric and seeing hundreds land and stick their proboscis into our safe sleeping space. The buzzing noise was overwhelming. I thought they were going to cut through like in the Matrix. Anyhow). Today was exhausting, but rewarding. I really enjoy this group of people.
Am sitting on a rock (that rocks). Leaves and moss and waterfall cascading, small waterfall. Today we cross behind a waterfall. Rainforest here? Beautiful.
Ines is sick and her husband Tomas is very worried. Dominic and Benjamin ("Buen jamon") are talking in German in the tent next to me and Sylvie and Astrid are probably asleep already.
The trails were so perfect and blended today. That waterfall... Insane. (Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqYXKYRcTsQ). This day was amazing. The moments before the summit and actually being here are overwhelming, saturated with humidity, color, and depth. It feels like we're nearing the top of the world and it reminds me of how little we all are. We play Asshole under our "Indian tents." A wet cold hangs damp in the air and I need sleep.
Breakfast in tent. Pictures on edge.
Back at base camp. I was sad to leave Roraima- especially the area after the Lagrimas (tears of god) waterfall path and before the summit- a magical place. This morning woke early in order to walk to "the window", but it was closed. We had walked to another viewpoint also and so I didn't mind.
----How to describe the sensation of seeing white clouds and the gray green rocks and strange plants at the top... To continue walking and realize that the white is upon you and the cloud is an abyss and if you walk towards the edge further, the walk is over. The Roraima trek is nearly complete. It is always a humbling experience and also to realize that my skills as a trekker, etc. are equal and unremarkable alongside the thousands of others who have trekked, tripped, grown tired, overwhelmed, cold, hot, etc. What a great trip.-----
Roraima--- trying to recall, as asked by a dear Canadian friend - how did it feel?
I sought solace, spirituality, independence and the capability to wander alone and in companionship. It was a far-reaching landscape- at first glance the terrain was never ending and identical. When we first reached the top (past the mystical ecosystem between waterfall and top), I felt carefree and also reminiscent of the hike with Raquel because there were a few miniature landscapes. Second thought of the tidepools at the final resting island before Playa Colorada. However there I had a moment to walk to the edge, rest on a rock and in general feel accomplished, exhausted, grateful. Our guia told me that there were some prayers that had been told for special days, trips to top, etc. but he either did not know them or was interrupted by the others before he could pray with me. I feel that the spiritual slant I was seeking, or reverence for nature, grand, silent beauty of ancient was found in meditation by myself, and I mostly felt in the moment.
The last night Sylvie brought up the fact of how the guia's wife was receiving either 20b/ day or $20 for the whole week for being her personal porter, and how that was grossly disproportionate in comparison to the cost of the overall trip. Oh, the politics of South America.